Surface Water Rescue

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Surface Water Rescue : 

Surface Water Rescue

General Background : 

General Background Environments Rivers Streams Canals Pools Lakes Gravel Pits Oceans Storm drain systems Causes Weather changes Overconfidence No PFD Cramps Submerged debris Boat collisions

General Background : 

General Background Most incidents preventable Essential EMS practices Know how to swim Wear a personal flotation device (PFD) Take basic water rescue course

Water Temperature : 

Water Temperature Body cannot maintain temperature in water <92oF Heat loss occurs 25x faster than in air

Water Temperature : 

Water Temperature Immersion can lead to hypothermia Hypothermia can lead to Inability to self-rescue Inability to follow simple directions Inability to grasp line, flotation device Sudden immersion, laryngospasm, drowning

Water Temperature : 

Water Temperature Personal Flotation Devices Slow heat loss Less energy expended for flotation Heat Escape Lessening Position (HELP) Head out of water Body floating in fetal position 60% heat loss reduction Huddle together in groups

Basic Rescue Techniques : 

Basic Rescue Techniques REACH THROW ROW GO ALWAYS WEAR YOUR PFD!

Moving Water : 

Moving Water

Moving Water : 

Moving Water Most dangerous water rescue Requires proficiency in: Technical rope rescue skills Crossing moving water Defensive swimming Use of throw bags Shore-based and boat-based rescues Ability to package patient in water

Recirculating Currents : 

Recirculating Currents Develop as water moves over uniform obstructions (rocks, low head dams) “Hydraulic” forms, moves against flow Recirculating water traps people against object

Recirculating Currents : 

Recirculating Currents DROWNING MACHINE

Strainers : 

Strainers Partial obstructions that filter water Downed trees, gratings, mesh Creates unequal force across itself People become pinned water’s force

Strainers : 

Strainers Attempt to swim over object Do NOT put feet on bottom

Foot/Extremity Pins : 

Foot/Extremity Pins Walking in moving water over knee depth ALWAYS is hazardous! Foot, leg may become entrapped Person can be knocked below surface by water’s force Extremity held in place by water’s weight, force

Intakes : 

Intakes Height is no indication of danger All dams may have recirculating currents Intake grates serve as strainers

Moving Water Self-Rescue : 

Moving Water Self-Rescue Avoid entering water except as last resort! Cover mouth, nose Protect head, keep face out of water Do NOT attempt to stand up Float on back, feet pointed downstream Steer with feet, point head toward near shore at 45o angle Water move slower on inside of bends Look for obstructions Eddies on downside of objects may flow slowly upstream, moving you toward river’s edge

Flat Water : 

Flat Water

Flat Water : 

Flat Water

Factors Affecting Survival : 

Factors Affecting Survival Age Position underwater Lung volume PDF use Water temperature Mammalian diving reflex

Factors Affecting Survival : 

Factors Affecting Survival PFD Use 89% of all boating fatalities are related to lack of a PFD PFDs should be worn when working in, on, or near water Swimming pools, flash floods can be water hazards even in arid areas!

Factors Affecting Survival : 

Factors Affecting Survival Mammalian Diving Reflex Water <68oF Bradycardia, intense peripheral vasoconstriction Blood, oxygen shunted to core organs, circulated very slowly Hypothermia Slows metabolism Conserves oxygen Only protective if it occurs BEFORE cardiac arrest occurs

Cold Protective Response : 

Cold Protective Response YOU’RE NOT DEAD UNTIL YOU’RE WARM AND DEAD!

Location of Victims : 

Location of Victims

Location of Victims : 

Location of Victims In flat water, location of average patient under average conditions = 1.5 x water depth of where he/she went down Example: Water is 10 feet deep Patient will be within a circle with a 15 foot radius centered on spot where patient went down

Location of Victims : 

Location of Victims In moving water, patients will be within 100 to 150 yards downstream Common locations: Deep holes Eddies downstream of large objects Strainers

Rescue vs. Recovery : 

Rescue vs. Recovery Time submerged Age Physical condition Known/suspected trauma Water temperature Estimated time for rescue/removal

In-Water Patient Immobilization : 

In-Water Patient Immobilization Assume cervical injuries in drowning victims until proven otherwise

Phase 1: In-Water SMR : 

Phase 1: In-Water SMR Splint victim head, neck with arms Roll victim to face-up position Assure open airway Maintain position until cervical collar applied

Phase 2: C-collar Application : 

Phase 2: C-collar Application Primary rescuer maintains airway, SMR Second rescuer sizes, applies collar Second rescuer secures patient’s hand to patient’s waist

Phase 3: Backboarding : 

Phase 3: Backboarding Maintain airway and manual SMR Submerge board under patient’s waist Allow board to float up to victim Secure victim with straps

Phase 4: Removal : 

Phase 4: Removal Move to extraction point Extricate patient head first Pass from water to rescuers on land Avoid extrication thorough surf Use bystanders who can swim as a breakwater behind patient

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